Kenya's cultural diversity: Agikuyu Shrine


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The Agikuyu shrine is located at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga in Gakuyu Village, Gaturi location, Kiharu Division, Murang’a County.
It is the cradle of the Agikuyu civilization and has symbolic, ritualistic and aesthetic values that fulfilled the ceremonial functions and spiritual beliefs of the community. The Agikuyu ancestral parents, Gikuyu and Mumbi, were believed to have resided at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga with their nine daughters, creating the origin of the clan system among the Agikuyu people.
The daughters were: Wanjiru, Wanjiku, Wambui, Warigia, Waithera, Wacera, Wangui, Wairimu and Wangari.
The Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine is a very significant landmark to the Agikuyu because of its ancestral, spiritual and cultural heritage. From time immemorial, the shrine was considered sacred to the Agikuyu people. It was a place of offering sacrifices to Mwene-Nyaga (God), which was mostly done when the Agikuyu community was faced with calamities such as famine, epidemics, drought, internal conflict and waging wars against local or foreign invaders. Sacrifices were also offered as a thanksgiving to Mwene-Nyaga for his bounties. Overall, the shrine was the soul as well as the spiritual centre of Agikuyu life.